Sadly, opportunists for cashing in on weight loss hopes are not limited to the West. In today’s news, makers of a herbal weight loss patch (who claimed their product has helped former President Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, shed 26.5 lb in under a month), were investigated by Chinese state officials.
According to Reuters, “China is trying to crack down on substandard and fake food, drugs, toys and health products after a series of scandals has shaken faith in the ‘made in China’ label worldwide.”
The patch’s name loosely translates into “America Seven-Point Thinness,” (roughly trying to tie in an association to acupuncture) and was not only promoted as an US import, but also as a top seller and the key to weight loss success for Chelsea Clinton. In actuality, it is manufactured by a company from the Chinese industrial city of Tianjin.
The Beijing Morning Post describes that customers who applied the patch (to any area of the body where they wanted to lose weight), were told to just ‘wait for the fat to flow out of them.’ However, investigators were able to demonstrate that – when placed on a coffee cup – the patch simply seeped oil. Hmmm…not much fat in a coffee cup, is there?
Here we go again! Another too-good-to-be-true product that perpetuates the ‘spot weight loss’ myth. Contrary to what this product suggests, there is no such thing as spot reduction. Fat is lost throughout the body in a pattern dependent upon genetics, sex (hormones), and age. Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area. Although fat is lost or gained throughout the body it seems the the first area to get fat, or the last area to become lean, is the midsection (in men and some women, especially after menopause) and hips and thighs (in women and few men).
The Chinese newspaper reports that in the few months it was on the market, advertisements helped the makers of the patch to rake in more than $26 million. Currently, there are many hoodia and other herbal weight loss patches that can be found on the American market.
Successful weight loss often depends on how patient we are with ourselves as we focus on healthy living. (For coping tips on managing weight, please read ‘Healthy Living: Patience is a Virtue‘.) Unfortunately, the pressure to lose weight, both internally and externally, can easily lead to desperation and make people vulnerable to diet schemes. The hidden cost? Aside from wasted time and money, there is the potential loss of more self-esteem with another diet ‘failure’ – and that is a mighty high price to pay.